What is believed to be one of the biggest cyber attacks of all time has targeted the website of a security expert after he exposed the names of hackers who carry out attacks for cash.
The website of security Brian Krebs has been the subject of a denial of service attack (DDoS) since Tuesday, which at its peaks saw 620 gigabits of data a second flood the site.
The attack is thought to be in response to an article Krebs recently posted on his blog, where he exposed hackers who carry out DDoS attacks for payment.
The ‘Krebs on Security’ blog was initially able to stay online even though it was the subject of an attack on a scale never before seen. However, by Friday the site was no longer online.
“Someone has botnets with capabilities we haven’t seen before,” he tweeted.
In a blog post which detailed the attack, Krebs said: “was the target of an extremely large and unusual distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack designed to knock the site offline.
“The attack did not succeed thanks to the hard work of the engineers at Akamai, the company that protects my site from such digital sieges,” he added.
DDoS attacks are used by hackers to knock a site offline. They work by flooding the site with web traffic until its servers are unable to cope with the demand and crash.
KrebsOnSecurity hit with record DDoS attack. Akamai: Someone has a botnet with capabilities we haven't seen before https://t.co/MQketE3nWN
— briankrebs (@briankrebs) September 22, 2016
Tech security company Akami said the attack on Krebs on Security was the largest they had ever seen, which registered around 363 Gbps.
Evidence suggests that part of the attack was launched with help of a bot which hacked into a number of devices connected to the Internet of Things. These could be anything from routers, IP cameras, digital recorders or even refrigerators.
People on Twitter had been speculating about why the Krebs on Security site was targeted in such a way.
“Many readers have been asking whether this attack was in retaliation for my recent series on the takedown of the DDoS-for-hire service vDOS,” Krebs said.
“Which coincided with the arrests of two young men named in my original report as founders of the service.”
Not long after the article was published, polie in Israel arrested two of the men named by Krebs.
“I can’t say for sure, but it seems likely related,” said Krebs.